“The Shallows” Screen Used One-of-a-Kind Mini Display Pieces

Best screen used prop deal in a long time!

Every so often an incredible deal on a “screen used” one-of-a-kind-prop comes along! The Shallows Screen Used One-of-a-kind Pieces!

I have a very limited number of mini displays of sections of the screen used prop Humpback Whale used In the movie “The Shallows” (2016).

Each one is a totally unique piece.

The Shallows Screen Used One-of-a-kind Pieces

This is a wonderful opportunity to own a piece of a true one-of-a-kind key prop from a film destined to be a horror survival classic!

The offer!

On offer is a limited number of sections of the prop whale carcass.Each piece is approximately 2″ x 2″ and is presented in a “floating frame” (2.75″ x 2.75″) with a flexible membrane which displays both the front & back of your piece and allows you to feel the texture.

The Shallows Screen Used One-of-a-kind Pieces

Your own awesome piece of horror history, or a wonderful gift for the movie fan! COA included.

Price is for ONE (2″ x 2″) section of the prop screen used whale mounted in it’s own floating frame. Ready to display!

Please view pics – The pics show the variation you can expect with the pieces. 

If you have a preference between the lighter or darker, please let me know or I will send whichever is available.

The prop whale carcass was custom production made of rubber over foam, on a fibreglass shell. It looks and feels incredibly realistic!

One of the best!

“The Shallows” consistently ranks as one of the scariest ‘Shark’ movies of all time. Items from this film are extremely hard to find, especially a key prop. Grab your one-of-a-kind screen used piece of Survival Horror at its best HERE!

Spoilers!

The Humpback whale carcass was both the cause of the peril for Nancy (Blake Lively) as well as being a life saver & offering brief respite after the initial attack.

It would also offer Nancy a way of attacking the Great White towards the end of the film when she ignites the whale oil emanating from the carcass.

This prop is what the whole story is based around!

Act now!

Grab your own “The Shallows” Screen Used One-of-a-kind PiecesSurvival Horror at its best HERE!

For some great ideas, hints & tips on collecting props & memorabilia, please check out my guides.

The Shallows – Screen Used Prop Whale Carcass

Screen used prop Humpback Whale carcass from The Shallows (2016). ***Please note: The following may contain film spoilers!***

A prop Humpback whale of six metres and weighing three tonnes is hard to miss! It’s a key production piece from “The Shallows” (2016), a horror survival thriller starring Blake Lively.

I tracked down the monster production made model at a business where it has sat for the last few years.

Shooting finished in 2015 at Village Roadshow studios on the Gold Coast, Queensland. The prop whale carcass was given to Tangalooma Island Resort, which operated whale watching tours.

The “life-size whale” was expected to fit right in. However, the downside of the exchange was the amount of fake blood and movie gore still on the whale.

Too much gore!

“When we got it delivered to bring it over to the island, it had too many shark marks all over it,” the resort manager said. “Since it was from a thriller movie, there was just too much blood hanging from it”.

He’s right! There are “many shark marks all over it”!

The Shallows - Screen Used Prop Whale Carcass
Prop Humpback whale shark victim

Standing beside the massive prop, the level of detail is remarkable. The “rubber on foam” over a fibreglass shell gives it such a real feel! The “bite marks” and wounds are genuinely unsettling.

The work that goes into making props of this magnitude is truly inspiring!

The Shallows - Screen Used Prop Whale Carcass
Whale watching!

Not only a beautifully crafted prop, the whale carcass was central to the film’s storyline. It’s been widely speculated that the whole reason for the shark’s hostile behaviour was due to the dead carcass. Thus triggering the great white’s territorial protection of its feeding ground.

The carcass is key in saving Nancy’s life and provides her brief respite following the initial attack from the massive predator.

Towards the climax of the film, the carcass provides our heroine with a means of attacking the Great White. She ignites the whale oil from the dead Humpback.   

Making memorable pieces

So, the lifeless Humpback whale carcass prop which causes peril for the heroic lone surfer was badly in need of re-housing. Size and weight of a prop this size is problematic when looking for a new home. Preservation of such wonderful pieces of cinema history is best left to private collectors.

A welcome decision was made by the owner to allow movie prop collectors a chance to own their own screen used piece. Offering a limited number of sections of this one-of-a-kind piece should make for some amazing displays

The Shallows - display size prop piece

It is currently in the process of being dismantled and shared in limited numbers with movie memorabilia prop collectors. This is brilliant news for those who are keen to own a display size piece of this key prop from a film that consistently ranks as one of the scariest shark movies of all time! 

Please check out my ebay store for a chance to pick up your own display size piece of this remarkable film that’s destined to become a classic of the horror survival genre!

If you haven’t seen the film yet, pick it up here on Blu-ray at Amazon

To see these “The Shallows – Screen Used Prop Whale Carcass pieces”, and many more items that form part of my collection, please check out my “YourProps” page.

If you would like some hints and tips on collecting film memorabilia, I have several free guides I’ve written here. I am constantly updating and adding to the content. I hope you find them helpful.

Enjoy!

Jackie Chan Inexpensive Screen Used Prop Pieces

By far, the most common question asked of me is “why are screen used props so expensive?“. Props especially those used by the stars of any production, are always the most sort after (read expensive) category of motion picture memorabilia. That’s not so say that owning a “piece” of a key film prop is out of reach and in fact can sometimes be acquired quite inexpensively. Just like these Jackie Chan inexpensive screen used prop swatch pieces!

Silks from Steel

I have a limited number of pieces (each piece approx 12″ x 12″) of Jackie Chan’s (special agent Lin Dong) screen used aerial silks from the action sci-fi movie Bleeding Steel (2017).

I was very fortunate to acquire the two aerial silks used in the “Opera House” stage fight sequence. Jackie Chan as Special Agent Lin Dong squares off with the “Woman in Black” (Tess Haubrich) and her henchmen. A terrific scene with Jackie doing some amazing stunt moves with these silks.

The offer is for a (at least) 12″ x 12″ (30cm x 30cm approx) piece of one of Jackie Chan’s screen used aerial silks from the movie. Check out this official Bleeding Steel trailer, which features Jackie using the silks (from 1.09).

Limited number 12″ x 12″ pieces

Please note: This fabric has a tendency to “curl” at the edge when cut, so each piece has been very generously cut to compensate, offering a good size piece to make an outstanding display.

As fans know, “Screen used” Jackie Chan film props are notoriously hard to find despite his massive body of work spanning the last fifty-eight years.

Check it out!

How often do you get the chance to own an inexpensive screen used piece that’s central to one of Jackie Chan’s brilliant stunt sequences?

If you would like to take advantage of this offer for these “Jackie Chan Inexpensive Screen Used Prop Pieces” please check my ebay store. If there’s none available, message me and I’ll endeavour to prepare a few more.

I will keep one silk completely intact, which will remain as part of my own collection, so there is a very limited number of these pieces available.

The price (at the time of writing) is $32 (Australian dollars) plus shipping.

Enjoy!

Looking for hints and tips on collecting motion picture and television memorabilia? Why not check out my guides? I am always updating and sharing additional information that I hope is helpful to other collectors.

A Guide To “Pirates Of The Caribbean” Screen Used Treasure


Pirates of the Caribbean screen used treasure props

The Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise offers prop collectors a literal treasure trove of collecting opportunities. With a broad variety of prop treasure coins, gold bars & paper ephemera, these pieces make for impressive displays, are ideal for limited space collections, and they are relatively inexpensive to buy. So here’s the first installment of A Guide To “Pirates of the Caribbean” Screen Used Treasure.

Before we have a look at some of these pieces, I understand this is not an exhaustive list. I’m only featuring pieces from my collection that I can attest to. So, please consider this a work in progress with updates ongoing.

Some POTC prop coin designs have understandably been used in several productions (which can confuse). However, subtle visible differences in the molds and castings can offer clues when attempting to screen match these pieces.

The Curse of the Black Pearl

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) probably offers collectors the widest selection of prop treasure coins.

The most common is the cast metal, gold-colored coin seen in the caverns of Isla De Muerta. This coin features a stylized cross on the obverse with a crest on the reverse. It’s found in several hues, including a silver variant. It measures approx. 4cm across.

Here’s a “mid size” version (below left) of the above type of coin. Measuring just under 3cm with similar features. See pic of coin in comparison to the larger aforementioned prop coin. This coin was also from the Isla De Muerta scenes. In my experience, these coins are significantly harder to find.

The “smallest” I have found are these (slightly larger than 2cm) coins. Again, they’re similar in design to the above examples.

These two thicker & heavier type prop treasure coins (below) from Isla De Muerta feature very sharp detail. Depending on how the coins were struck, you’ll find a slight convex appearance on either the “coat of arms” side or the “shield” side. This becomes important when screen matching these coins. These two coins have the slight ‘convex’ occurring on the “coat of arms” side. I love the detail on these pieces.

At World’s End (2007)

This is the “Gallows” and opening credits coin (piece of eight). We can see this coin in the cabin boy’s hand (see screen grab below) and also in the opening titles sequence.

Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

First, a production used prop gold bar from the bank safe with heavy production wear, paint flaking & color loss. These were hard to identify on screen as the top of the bar was only visible in the blink of an eye as these fell out of the safe.

Prop gold bar

Here are two production made & used metal prop coins. These appear to be based on actual George II “Five Guinea” coins from 1746. Some production wear is present showing clear paint loss.

This pair (below) are “stunt” versions of the above coins. Production pieces made of plastic and used in the bank heist scene. They display light wear.

A Guide To "Pirates of the Caribbean" Screen Used Treasure. Plastic stunt coins
Stunt coins

These “plastic” coins (below) look to have been commercially available “generic” pieces that had been production modified (possibly around the edges). Hundreds of these were used (tossed) as Captain Jack Sparrow was dragged along behind the ever emptying bank safe. Understandably, there is lots of wear on these pieces.

A Guide To "Pirates of the Caribbean" Screen Used Treasure. Stunt coins.
Bank heist “stunt” coins

A production used “Royal Bank of Saint Martin” check (cheque) from the bank safe. A hard to find item (at least, this is the only one I’ve seen).

A Guide To "Pirates of the Caribbean" Screen Used Treasure
Prop bank cheque

Another hard to find piece is this “warrant of payment” paperwork, complete with faux wax seal (damaged). These were used as part of the bank stationery and vault contents.

The last coin in the safe! The coin that Captain Jack Sparrow secretly “pockets” from the otherwise empty bank safe. This coin is a re-working of the “Black Pearl” coin, but with a unique shape.

A Guide To "Pirates of the Caribbean" Screen Used Treasure
Last coin in the safe

Please share

So, that’s the first installment of: A Guide To “Pirates of the Caribbean” Screen Used Treasure. I hope this post provided some helpful information towards identifying some of your Pirates of the Caribbean treasure. As noted, I have only included items I have in my collection. There are lots more pieces out there and I’d love to see what you have in your own collections. Please share your thoughts & comments.

If you’d like an inexpensive and effective solution for displaying your POTC coins, please check out this post.

For hints and tips on collecting motion picture and television memorabilia, why not check out my guides? I am always updating and adding to the information contained.

Finally, here’s my “YourProps” link where you’ll find these (and many more) items that make up part of my collection.

Enjoy!

Gremlins Theme Park Props – Where Are They Now?

Gremlins theme park props from “Gremlins Invasion” ride

A category of “movie memorabilia” attracting an increased number of fans during the last few decades is the “theme park prop”. Historic growth in the theme park industry (pre covid-19), suggests that interest will continue.

As theme parks open, close and change their attractions, sadly, they discard many props. Here’s a look at a few iconic pieces previously thought to have been lost.

Pictured are some Gremlins from Warner Bros Movie World’s Gremlin Invasion attraction. Check out this excellent video of the ride’s history put together by Expedition Theme Park. Fifty-six Gremlins were featured in the attraction and it’s unknown how many have survived, but here are three remaining Gremlins, plus some assorted body parts.

Gremlins Theme Park Props
Gremlins Invasion

The ride opened in 1991 and closed in 2001 to make way for the “Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster” ride to tie-in with the 2002 film.

Okay, it’s a tenuous link at best, but I guess these are “screen used” props! After all, they appeared in many commercials at the time. Besides, it’s likely the closest I will get to a production used Gremlin!

Why theme park props?

For the collector, what do theme park props offer above their film used counterparts? Their resilience! These were made to last longer than just a few “takes”! This is illustrated in how robust they are. They are heavy! Both the static (fibreglass) and the animatronic pair. Showing their age now – after all, it has been almost thirty years, and these were not particularly well looked after over the last two decades.

Construction

The animatronic characters had latex covering, sometimes a perspex body form velcroed onto the frame (where clothing would cover it). Head and hands are foam latex.
The full fibreglass figure is static and has 35mm film stock “fused” into his shoulder. If you check out this YouTube video, he appears in the “film archives” section of the ride at the 1.30 time stamp. He is unfortunately missing a few digits on his hands (claws).

Film archive fiend!

De-constructing for delivery

Being full size, these little monsters take up a surprising amount of space (those darned outstretched arms) and I’ve consequently passed some pieces onto other collectors. Shipping was problematic due to both the size and weight of these guys. So be warned, much easier to ship these before that midnight feed!

Gremlins Theme Park Props
De-constructing for delivery

Check out the pic detailing the de-construction prior to the shipping of a gremlin. There’s an awful lot of steel there!

De-constructing for delivery
Heavy metal Mogwai

At the time of writing, I have a set of fibreglass Gremlin legs (from this lot) available in my ebay store.

If you enjoyed seeing these Gremlins theme park props, please check out my yourprops page to see some other pieces of my collection of motion picture and television production used memorabilia.

I’ve also put together some guides (with more to follow) packed with hints and tips for collectors. Please have a look and leave a comment.

Enjoy!

When Real Art Becomes Reel Art!

I have always believed that motion picture and television production “prop makers” and “set designers” to be, unsung artists. Moreover, their artistic talent or contribution will always be somewhat constrained in order to fit within the parameters set by production. I believe lines blur when real “commissioned” art is used as a production prop. Is there a distinction when real art becomes “reel” art?

“Set Dec” Treasures

In 2017, I attended a set decoration “wrap” liquidation sale for the thirteen-part television series “Grace Beside Me” (2018). A fantasy drama based on the book by Sue McPherson. Knowing very little about the production (after all it wouldn’t premiere until 16 February 2018 on NITV), the premise intrigued me. Having a daughter around the same age as the principal characters, my family were eagerly looking forward to the series. We weren’t disappointed. The show was absolutely wonderful!

I strongly urge families to track it down and please watch it as a family. The series was deservedly nominated for (and won) many awards.

After the show’s debut on NITV, it later premiered on the ABC (Australia) on 8 July 2018 and later on the Disney Channel in March 2019.

"Grace Beside Me," set dec sale

I headed off to the wrap sale with my daughter (who shares my love of production used props & wardrobe).

She was excited at the prospect of picking up a number of cast worn wardrobe pieces.

If I’m completely honest with you, not only do set dec sales offer some amazing collectables for film & TV memorabilia fans, they also offer a terrific way of picking up clothing/shoes & accessory bargains too!

The items are usually of good quality and have often been worn just long enough to get a good “take”! But that’s a whole other post!

Anyway, my daughter scored a number of wardrobe items and I grabbed some interesting pieces.

Picture Perfect

when real art becomes reel art

One of the joys (for me at least) of purchasing props and set decoration from “wrap” sales prior to a production’s release, is the thrill of later identifying & screen matching those pieces when finally viewing the show.

Every now and then with this hobby, there comes along a magical piece that transcends that item’s status as a production prop!

My Luke Mallie original acrylic on canvas screen used painting of “Aunty Min” played by Roxanne McDonald in the series is one such piece.

I eagerly snapped it up with our other treasures on the day of the sale.

I fell in love with this the first time I saw it! Remember, I had no idea in what context they used this in the show! But I found the colour, vibrancy, youthful spirit and sense of fun depicted in this work so enticing.

As I discovered after viewing the series, Luke Mallie’s painting perfectly captured the personality and character of “Aunty Min”.

Brief But Lasting

As often happens with props, the painting only featured in the series for a split second. I won’t spoil it by telling you where. Anyway, I’m happy to say “Aunty Min” has been gracing my office wall for three years. Just like her character, she is totally unique, helps keep me positive, focussed and above all, makes me smile!

If you haven’t yet caught “Grace Beside Me”, please make sure you do! Check out Sue McPherson’s book on Amazon.
Please have a look at artist Luke Mallie‘s amazing work.
You can check out some of my “Grace Beside Me” pieces on my “YourProps” page.

Want some hints & tips on collecting motion picture & television props & memorabilia? Why not check out my guides!

Best Space Saving Film Memorabilia

We aren’t all blessed with sizeable areas to store and display our collections, and it’s not always practical to pack our homes with wall to wall mannequins, display cabinets, or cover our walls with dozens of shadow boxes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (I constantly tell my better half)! To most collectors, space is at a premium. And so, this is a major consideration when collecting anything! After all, I’m sure that “size” is one reason stamp collecting has remained popular! Here then are some ideas on the best space saving film memorabilia for collectors wanting more compact displays.

best space saving film memorabilia
Production used stamps. The Railway Man (2013)

With a little planning, movie prop and memorabilia collecting can offer much for the collector with limited space.

This is part four in my Definitive guide to screen used props. Here you will find more guides packed with helpful hints and tips.

When I first started collecting, I wanted absolutely everything! Size wasn’t an issue. I had storage to spare! Now, after four moves and lugging my collection along behind me, I accept that I could have planned it all better. And like most veteran collectors, I finally accept that forward planning and possibly refining your scope can pay huge dividends.

Collections should be seen and not interred!

Firstly, I strongly believe a collection deserves to be seen! I accept that storage of multiples, fragile and possibly valuable pieces is necessary. But basically, if I collect it, I want to show it!

Anyway, Here are some suggestions for some of the best space saving film memorabilia. These types of production props & cinema memorabilia take up very little room, display beautifully, and are easy to transport. Also, if you collect smaller pieces, you’ll likely save yourself a bundle in both shipping and display materials. Win win!

One caveat however, if you collect from just a certain movie or show, this may not work as well for you. But if you find a niche or category of props and memorabilia you like, this could be a perfect path to building an exceptional space saving collection.

Pint Size Props

Prop money is an excellent category to kick us off! Almost every film or TV show (whatever the genre) will have had prop money production made for it. Bank notes, coins, credit cards, checks, make for excellent collections and are some of the most popular items among collectors.

Prop money from The Dark Knight (2008), Chappie (2015), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Elysium (2013).
Prop money from The Dark Knight (2008), Chappie (2015), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Elysium (2013).

Similarly, any motion picture or television show featuring a casino or maybe a poker game (and there’s many) will have produced custom gambling “chips” and used playing cards. These are wonderful pieces to display in a compact space.

Rush Hour 2 (2001) Casino Chips.
Rush Hour 2 (2001).

Screen worn jewellery is another popular category, offering the collector a broad range because of the abundance of pieces available. If your collection comprises several necklaces, maybe steer away from the traditional mannequin style neck display in my pic. Instead, opt for a more compact style like this set of six at Amazon.

Screen used jewellery
The Promotion (2008). I, Frankenstein (2014).

I have seen some truly spectacular spectacle displays! It may be a little too “niche” for some. But a collector with vision could produce eye-catching exhibits! Terrible puns intended!

Far Cry (2008), The Railway Man (2013). Best space saving film memorabilia.
Far Cry (2008), The Railway Man (2013).

Watch for the mail!

Screen worn wristwatches are another splendid example of “display friendly” items. Virtually every production set in the last 120 years will have used wristwatches and even prior to that, pocket watches would have been used.

best space saving film memorabilia
Grace Beside Me (TV) (2018). The Railway Man (2013)

Mail! This is one of my personal favourites, simply because most any scene featuring a letter or hand written note etc will pause long and clear enough to allow for screen matching. I would also include any diagrams and forms. In fact, most documents fit here. Again, these types of props are in abundance.

screen used mail makes best space saving film memorabilia
Rebel in the Rye (2017)

Production made patches, badges, buttons and decals display great and require very little room. These include production used pieces or maybe even cast & crew items. For example you may not have space for a “Finse (Norway) crew jacket” from The Empire Strikes Back, but the “Vader In Flames” production patch featured on the jacket makes an awesome display!

Cloth patches from film production
A Country Practice (TV) (1981), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), North Dallas Forty (1979).

Pick a card

Business cards are another terrific choice. Not always easy to find but they feature in many iconic films and remain one of the smallest items to display..

best space saving film memorabilia
What to Expect when you’re Expecting (2012).

Production made cigarette packs, matchbooks, drink coasters etc. All relatively inexpensive (depending on the production), and great candidates for that small themed display.

Filming Miniatures such as figures, buildings, vehicles etc, are so often discarded after production and so tend to be hard to find. Very often surviving pieces are damaged, many are only remnants of the original. These very sought after pieces display great. Generally, the $ per square foot value on miniatures is very high and well worth a place in your display cabinet.

Filming miniatures
Ghost Ship (2002), The Great Raid (2005).

Trading cards containing production used wardrobe swatches, relic fragments or autographs are a great option to save space. They’re reasonably priced too and so represent very good value.

Collector cards
Trading Cards.

Cinema “Compact” Collectables

Maybe your passion is for “Movie theatrecollectables! Many of the following items of cinema ephemera have now become obsolete within an industry increasingly delivering these pieces digitally.

I’m a big fan of film posters but again, if you don’t have the wall space to display them, maybe look at some of these alternatives.

Mini posters / handbills, often used in cinema foyers prior to a film’s release. These are terrific to display, taking up a fraction of the space of regular posters. Often, they are “double sided” so consider how best to display them, maybe get two if possible (side by side).

Mini posters best space saving film memorabilia
Cinema Foyer Promotional Mini Poster Handbills.

Original media press kits offer some great “compact” display options. Usually packed with press photos, production notes and sometimes even containing A4 size mini posters. All contained in a folder usually featuring the film’s original artwork. Lot’s to work with there and in a small package. Be aware though that more recent press kits tend to be “digital” offering little display value.

Media press kits
Press Kits.

Movie premiere advanced screening “guest invites” make awesome displays. Again, a thing of the past, now delivered digitally and increasingly hard to find.

advanced screening guest invites
Special Advanced Screening Guest Invites.

Shining a light.

Digital cinemas and the phaseout of 35mm film projection have seen increased interest in collecting 35mm movie film stock over the last decades. Film snippets or cells display great if back-lit and take up little space.

The Shining (1980) Film trailer
The Shining (1980) Original Cinema Trailer.

Things to try to avoid when collecting 35mm movie film:

  • Vinegar Syndrome and I would probably avoid the highly flammable Cellulose nitrate type film which was used until the 1950s.

Things to look for:

  • Preview and trailer reels are great as they feature many key scenes and the film’s highlights. Rarities are out there if you keep a lookout. For example, the “pulled” theatrical teaser trailer for Spiderman (2002). The trailer featured a bank heist getaway chopper caught in Spidey’s web that spanned the World Trade Centre’s Twin Towersreflected in Spider-Man’s lens. This was hurriedly pulled from movie theatres immediately following 9/11 (along with the poster showing the same image).
35mm rare film cells
Film cells from a pulled trailer. Spider-Man (2002).

Magic lantern “coming attraction” slides are but a distant memory. Before big budget teaser trailers and previews, “glass slides” were projected in cinemas to advertise coming attractions. Quite rare now due to their vulnerability. With a backlit display, they look superb!

Coming attraction slides
Cinema Coming Attractions Slides

I hope this provides a few ideas for collectors looking for the best space saving film memorabilia. Let me know of some smaller pieces in your collection.

At the time of writing, several of these items were available in my Ebay Store.

Thank you and enjoy.

Collecting Movie Memorabilia On A Budget

My hints and tips for collecting movie memorabilia on a budget.

Part three of my Definitive guide to screen used props. This doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby, especially for those of you just starting out. So please read on for my best tips on collecting movie memorabilia on a budget!

In this post I focus mainly on production made / used props and wardrobe. I share my tips to save you money, give some entry level ideas, discuss where and how to look for inexpensive memorabilia and offer some handy hints and first steps to help you establish industry contacts.

Keeping it real

First, always opt for an original authentic piece! For example, If you can’t afford the whole “Krayt Dragon” skeleton (who could?), settle for a small inexpensive piece of it! It’s still real, and nothing will ever beat real!

Krayt Dragon Fragment.
Krayt Dragon Fragment.

Where to start

  • Trading cards are a great inexpensive entry to owning props and wardrobe. You can expect to find relic pieces, costume swatches, autographs, etc. There are thousands to choose from. They are inexpensive, take up a brief amount of space and are easy to display.
Trading Card Treasures.
Trading Card Treasures.
  • Production “Set Dec Sales” (liquidation sales) are where and when production used props & wardrobe are at their cheapest! Production just want it cleared out! Check your local studios and production companies’ Facebook pages etc for early notification of sales. Often, local auction houses are used. Contact your local auction houses & join their mailing lists.
  • Place a “Wanted to buynotice on your local Facebook / Gumtree marketplace, stipulate what you collect. By doing this, you are inviting direct contact with the seller and effectively removing a lot of competition.

How unexpected

  • Props & wardrobe can often end up in thrift & charity shops. It’s always worth a look. It’s surprising just how many pieces (along with “production crew gifts” such as caps / shirts etc) you’re likely to come across.
Movie memorabilia on a budget
Charity Find

For example, I once owned an outfit worn by Andy Serkis for his hilarious 2003 MTV Awards acceptance speech – Here on YouTube. He’d donated it to a charity shop, it sold & subsequently made its way to the Prop Store. A hand signed note on a postcard accompanied the piece.

  • Estate sale items of memorabilia, are generally always worth more to the poor soul who collected them, than to the eager people who are now disposing of them. This is so true of screen used props & wardrobe. You will very likely pick up bargains here. Remembering We are very much a part of a “niche” hobby that has relatively little understanding from those people outside of the hobby.

As a side note, I continually stress the importance and value of my own collection to my children. This is to prevent my wife from hiring and filling a giant skip bin when my time comes!!! [I jest sweetheart]!

Gotta have friends

  • Make friends in this hobby! Join social media communities and let members know what type of memorabilia you are collecting and have them look out on your behalf. Invite them to tip you off about pieces they’ve passed on – maybe those pieces interest you! I personally know of many collectors who will offer an incentive or spotter’s fee in order to find that special item!
Movie memorabilia on a budget
Bulk Buy Blaster Bargains!
  • Once you’ve established a group of friends, look at “splitting upbuys between members of your group. Buying a “job lot” privately or at auction and sharing pieces among your group, can seriously reduce your individual spend.
  • Shameless plug! My ebay store always has lots of great inexpensive pieces! Please check it out if you’re interested in collecting movie memorabilia on a budget.

Best buying experience

  • In my experience, the more passionate collectors are, the more realistic their prices. Let me explain: A collector always wants to improve the “collection” generally by selling pieces to acquire better pieces. Most collectors, I know, usually lose (or at best, break even). Unlike dealers, they’re less about profit and more about the hobby. I shudder at how many hours and repeated viewings it’s taken for me to “screen match” particular pieces that I end up selling for less than fifty bucks! That is definitely not a good hourly rate! However, over time, I get to invest in a better piece.
  • Dealers who are “passionate collectors” are the best to deal with! They both understand what you want & will often have what you want (or know where to locate it)! They will happily “deal” with new collectors to them get started in the hobby. Please ask about dealers I’d recommend!
  • As a general rule, I suggest you steer away from “make me an offer” deals. The seller knows what price they want and they are simply hoping you will offer more. Only offer a price if the seller provides a starting price & invites lower offers.

Direct route

  • Most Tradesmen, Production Assistants & Crew members are contracted only to the completion of a particular film or project. So between engagements, they have lives outside of the industry. That includes having the odd garage / yard sale. Don’t be surprised if you discover the odd prop or piece of set decoration at their home, in their shed or workshop, etc.
  • I was once checking Facebook marketplace garage sale ads and noticed, in the background of one photo, an instantly recognisable piece from a major blockbuster. It was production made (unpainted). I contacted the seller, who explained he had worked as a set painter on two (huge) films! My excitement somewhat amused him, but he was however able to offer me some really nice production made pieces & even a couple of delightful crew gifts he’d received.

IMDB

  • If you get the chance to acquire a piece directly from a member of a production, check their IMDB (Internet Movie Database) page entry. Not only does that help establish their bona fides, it will give you an insight into other productions they’ve worked on. Chances are they will respect that you’ve researched their work & they may be open to discussing their other projects, which may result in more leads to more items.
  • An excellent example of this: I responded to a Gumtree ad with the seller offering a hand signed (by the cast) movie script from a favourite film of mine. I asked him about provenance. He happened to be the producer! I picked up the script and through further conversations it turned out he had been storing props and wardrobe from several of his productions that he was willing to let go. It pays to engage!

I’m happy to say I regularly get calls from my industry contacts who offer me pieces from time to time.

So important

Please remember, In order to maintain relationships with production crew, be discreet and never be pushy! It’s also okay to ask for a note of provenance but don’t always expect to receive one.

Being a part of this hobby, we have the opportunity to meet and connect with some amazing people involved in the film industry, along with some awesome collectors. I hope this guide helps you in collecting movie memorabilia on a budget!

Thank you.

This is part three of my Definitive guide to screen used props. Here you will find more guides packed with helpful hints and tips.. I hope you find it of value.

Check out my “YourProps” page to see more of my collection.